If you have ever considered betting on football matches, you would have come across the word ‘odds’. A punter may ask the question: ‘How do odds work in football?’
Bookmakers offer odds on all events in football matches, so if you are an aspiring punter willing to make a mark in the football betting work, acquiring the knowledge of how odds work in football matches is an essential requirement to fulfill your toolkit to becoming a successful punter.
So, it is an important skill that is well worth your time if you want to gain an edge in your bets.
Odds are essentially an assigned number corresponding to the probability of an event and how likely that event is to occur. The price displayed usually corresponds to the percentage chance of an event occurring or not.
Odds can be given in fractions or decimal points. This essentially gives the bookmakers power to gain an edge in the likely outcome of an event, but it also allows punters to gain insights into what their returns will be like if they are to win a bet.
For example, if you put your bets on a team that had odds of 3/1 to win a championship match, and you put $50 into your bet if you win that bet your returns will be $150 plus the $50 you initially put up as a stake.
As bookmakers are free to set whatever odds they like on their websites, they give themselves a house edge when determining the value of the odds.
The amount of their edge usually varies across different platforms, but if we use football as an example, your percentage earnings will never amount to 100% of the total bet earnings. This is because the odds that they offer are lower than the actual odds of the event happening.
If you want to understand odds in terms of probability, let’s take a look at an example. Chelsea has 7/2 chance of beating Manchester United in their home turf, where Manchester United have a 4/5 of winning that same match.
The odds of that match drawing is 3/1. So let’s take a look at the implied percentages of the odds here:
Home win: Chelsea 7/2 (winning the chance of 22.22%)
Draw – 3/1 (winning the chance of 25%)
Away win – Manchester United 4/5 (winning the chance of 55.56%)
Total percentage adds up to 102.78%
The extra 2.78% you see here is the house edge that’s built into the market. Match results usually fall below the market number but understanding the house edge gives punters an insight into what exactly they are up against.
Making money in bets does not take an immense amount of knowledge, but understanding the odds will help you to figure what your risk and your profitability are if a likely event occurs.
Being able to interpret the odds will help you to pick a side that is more likely to win. I used the example of a fractional odd, but odds do sometimes appear as decimal points as well.
For example, if your stake is $10 and your decimal odds are 5.5, then your winnings will be $55. To find out your winnings, simply multiply your stakes with the decimal odds and subtract your stakes from that number.
In my example, your winnings are $45. Take some time to understand how odds work before diving into the world of betting. To differentiate yourself from the rest of the punters, take your time to study up on a match day and research on the team news and pitch conditions.
Don’t forget to also look at the odds of your side to figure out what your winnings will be if your prediction comes out to be true.
Understanding how odds work can be a tricky thing to figure out at first, but if you give yourself enough time, you too can answer the question: How do odds work in football?
The more knowledge you gain on the odds of your betting market, the more confident you feel when you put your stakes up. Be patient, and always learn from your mistakes.
It is okay to have a bad day at the office, but never be disheartened if you face a day of continual losses in your bets.